First-party Tracking Setup

Congratulations! Most likely you found this article because you decided to enhance your tracking by enabling first-party tracking for one or multiple of your Advertisers.

First-party tracking improves your tracking quality by preventing the loss of crucial data caused by ad-blocking technology and browser regulations. Thereby, it fosters accurate analysis and allows Advertisers and Partners to drive more business. Ingenious promotes the importance of data privacy of consumers and first-party tracking since its beginning. 

What is the difference between first and third party tracking?

A common online conversion involves four parties:

  • the advertiser or online merchant (1),

  • the partner or publisher (2),

  • the online marketing platform (3)

  • and of course the customer (4)

In most cases, tracking takes place on a tracking domain related to the online marketing platform, for example:

1 www.tracking.affiliatenetwork.com

In this case, we speak of third party tracking, because the main domain is not the domain of the advertiser.

In case of first party tracking, the tracking takes place on a tracking domain related to the advertiser, for example:

1 asdkj2312d.fashionshop.com

By using first party tracking, tracking is taking place on the domain of the advertiser, i.e. on the domain on which the customer orders a product or a service. This means no alien domains are involved in the process of tracking the online conversion. This dwarfs the chance that the tracking is obstructed by ad blockers or security settings in the browser of the customer.

When implemented on your online marketing platform, you will be able to provide your advertisers and partners a much higher tracking quality, which allows them to drive more business.

Enabling first-party tracking

Your Ingenious platform supports first-party tracking.
To enable first-party tracking for an Advertiser, a few things need to be done:

  1. Decide on a tracking domain for your Advertiser. The tracking domain must be a subdomain of the Advertiser’s shop domain (xcx23123.yourdomain.com). The sub-domain should be random (use this website to generate a random string: Random.org)

  2. Raise a ticket in the Customer Support Service Desk to get support from our team and clarify open questions.

  3. We ask you for an explicit confirmation. You confirm that you want to enable first-party tracking and provide us the IDs of the Advertisers. Based on your confirmation, we will initiate all subsequent activities.

  4. Your tracking domain needs to be connected to Ingenious through a CNAME-DNS-Record (read this article for how to setup the DNS entry). Our team will provide you with the correct value.

  5. First-party tracking requires a secure transmission of tracking events.
    We manage an SSL certificate for you and set it up on your Ingenious platform. One certificate is required per advertiser tracking domain.

  6. We change the tracking domain of your Advertiser on the platform for you and activate the Tracking Domain Redirect to automatically redirect tracking requests from the old Tracking Domain to the new one.
    Now your new tracking domain is ready for tracking events. We notify you per email about that.

  7. Let the IT team of your Advertiser update the tracking codes for Conversion and On-page requests. The updated tracking codes are available in the Admin UI.

  8. Notify your Partners that they can take the new tracking links from the Ad Media management in the Partner UI.

After you successfully enabled first-party tracking, we will keep the Advertiser’s old tracking links working. To ensure correct attribution between events of the new and old tracking domain, we will enable a cross-domain tracking mode, which will match events arriving at the old tracking domain to events of the new tracking domain so that there is a smooth transition. This will be enabled for a time period of 30 days, or longer if your Partners need more time to exchange tracking links. After that period we will disable the old tracking links.

FAQ

  • Will my existing tracking links that contain the previous tracking domain continue to work?
    Yes. Existing tracking links of your Advertiser will be supported as long as Partners have built them in.
    Existing tracking links of your other Advertisers that use the previous tracking domain are not affected and will continue to work.

  • Will clicks or views that have been tracked over the old domain be attributed correctly if the conversion arrives at the new domain?
    Yes. For the phase of migration, we will enable a cross-domain mode which will match all user interactions that are received on the old domain with user interactions on the new domain.

  • What is the cost for enabling first-party tracking?
    Using first-party tracking requires an SSL certificate. You will pay us a fixed cost per domain per year so that Ingenious can purchase and renew your certificate. The price is denoted in the contract that you have with Ingenious. You will be billed according to the default billing process.

  • Do advertiser have to bring their own SSL certificate?
    No. In most cases, the Advertiser has no existing SSL certificate that is sufficient for the new tracking domain. Therefore, our service includes to purchase and renew necessary certificates.